The night was mighty dark so you could hardly see
For the moon refused to shine...
~ Shine On, Harvest Moon (attr to Nora Bayes, Jack Norworth)
Eclipses tend to evoke ooooh's and aaaah's and uh-huh's and uh-oh's from astrologers and astronomers alike. They put on quite a cosmic light show, whether it's the Moon blocking out the light of the Sun (Solar Eclipse) or the Moon's light obscured by the Earth's shadow cast by the Sun (Lunar Eclipse).
This one (Sep. 12/13) is a Partial Solar Eclipse, when the Sun is shadowed by the Moon for a few hours. In two weeks (Sep. 27/28) it will be followed by a Total Lunar Eclipse, when the Moon passes through shadow and is completely enveloped by it for a few hours.
I tend to see the physical characteristics of an eclipse as symbolic of what happens astrologically too. A solar eclipse is when the light of the Sun – our conscious sense of purpose and identity – becomes a bit obscured by the Moon – our emotional sense of safety, needs, intuition and primal connection to others.
Since a Solar Eclipse is also a New Moon, our emotional nature and awareness already tend to be somewhat unconscious and free-floating. A New Moon is often referred to as the Dark of the Moon since the Sun's light overpowers our ability to see the physical Moon, and our subjective emotional experience also tends to be somewhat obscured.
Physical energy leading up to any New Moon is often low or sluggish. For most of us, our natural instinct is to drift and coast and let the natural flow of the world around us carry us along. Because of this, it can feel like a somewhat vulnerable time when we may feel pushed and pulled by the energies around us, for better or worse.
Two weeks from now, it will be the other way around. A Lunar Eclipse is also a Full Moon, when the Moon's light is at full aperture and our emotional urge for expression along with it. However, with that blazing Moon's light becoming darkened by shadow, we see—and may experience—a darker, more obscure perspective of those lunar feelings. During that time the Moon will take on a dark orange or reddish colour, and hence is often called a Blood Moon.
Eclipses in general are usually associated with bad or intense events and experiences, or perhaps just extra drama. Many astrologers see eclipses as times when our energy shifts and can change direction, often hinging on events taking place when transiting planets form dynamic aspects (conjunction, opposition, square) to the eclipse degree, with this change unfolding for up to several years. An excellent book about this phenomenon, both in depth and user friendly, is by Celeste Teal: Eclipses: Predicting World Events & Personal Transformation.
Mom. I have something to tell you. I’m undead. Now, I know you may have some preconceived notions about the undead. I know you may not be comfortable with the idea of me being undead. But I’m here to tell you that undead are just like you and me
…well, okay. Possibly more like me than you.
~ Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes
This particular Solar Eclipse is in Virgo, which is associated with the concept of agriculture: the methodology that cultivates growth and the gathering of its results through harvest. During this time and over the coming weeks, you might feel some free-floating anticipation about upcoming plans for future projects, both positive and negative.
This could manifest as everything from anxiety to excitement. Virgo can easily worry over "Have I prepared enough?" You might find yourself cogitating over "Have I taken enough detail and breadth of vision into consideration?" Or you might be racking your brain trying to remember all the things you might possibly have forgotten. Since the eclipse tends to be a time of amplified emotional charge, these feelings could potentially bounce over the top, for better or worse.
The Sun-Moon conjunction (a.k.a. the New Moon, and in this case, also the Solar Eclipse) is opposite Chiron. (Read more about Chiron in Pisces.) At its worst, this aspect could magnify your nervousness about whether your plans can succeed at all or whether they will fall short of "enough" and fail.
However, Chiron brings an opportunity to examine not just whether you can succeed but also what that would even look like. Failure is not simply about starting with a bad recipe or having poor cooking skills or substandard ingredients. Its success can hinge on whether you have a clear vision of what perfection looks like, tastes like, sounds like and feels like.
Chiron is known as the Wounded Healer, so he already resonates with Virgo's theme of healing and achieving a state of health (and some regard Chiron as a co-ruler of Virgo). Health as a general concept is essentially when everything within the whole is working cooperatively, effectively and efficiently with the rest of the whole. This could apply to your physical body, but it can also describe your plans and the work involved in carrying out those plans to the intended goal and the harvest of results.
So: what projects are you trying to accomplish over the next, say, 6 months? The next set of eclipses comes in March 2016, so where do you want to be with this project by then? What will that look like? Envision it down to the last detail, but be careful not to get stuck in the belief that anything short of perfection will mean you've failed.
The Chiron side of this eclipse challenges you to envision what it might look like if you don't quite make it to a state of perfection. What is "good enough?"
For example, say you're hoping to redecorate your living room. You might envision this right down to the colour and design of the fabric on the throw pillows on the sofa, the precise colour of paint that you want to go on the walls, the specific pattern you want on the carpet and the type of wood that the coffee table is made from.
However, will it still be okay if the throw pillows are a different colour or design, or if the paint colour is different, as long as it produces the kind of effect you're looking for? (e.g. to enliven or calm your space; to warm it up or cool it down) What other colours and combinations might still achieve that result in a pleasing way?
The point is to remain flexible but have a clear idea of what is most important to make the result "good enough." For instance, if your sofa is bright green, it will probably ruin the effect you want by painting the walls fire engine red. (Or maybe that's exactly what you're after!) What are the biggest priorities that need to be kept in consideration as you cultivate your project?
What parts of the vision could be changed if necessary, and what might some options be? Maybe you want to wait until you find the right carpet and paint colour before you get the throw pillows. It's not just each individual piece of your vision that must be "right" but everything must work together. Virgo is about the details, yes, but it's also about making sure it all works together holistically.
Don't let the tyranny of rigid perfection dictate the success or failure of your result. There's a wonderful scene in the 1977 movie The Goodbye Girl (with Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss), where she decides to redecorate their living room to match a photo in a magazine. She gets all the ingredients, materials and objects and puts it together. When she's finished, the room is simply gorgeous! But she's crestfallen because it doesn't precisely match the photo. Don't go there.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
~ Mary Schmich
Mercury is the planetary ruler of Virgo. Mercury has been rehearsing his Retrograde Rumba routine since Aug.28 when he waltzed into the Shadow. The curtain goes up in 4 days (Sep.17) and the show continues until Oct.09 when he goes Direct. After that, playback clips may be viewed until Oct.24 when he leaves the Shadow.
Mercury makes a few aspects during this retrograde cycle:
In the Solar Eclipse chart, Mercury is still closely square Pluto, which casts a somewhat twilight hue over the eclipse energy. This might increase any stress, worry or self-doubt you could be feeling, as you fret about whether your efforts will stand up to someone else's standards of what is acceptable. On the other hand, this can provide an opportunity to fight back against the fear that what you do will be less than okay.
If you can keep from being overwhelmed by the wish for external validation, this whole Mercury Retrograde cycle (and these Solar and Lunar Eclipses that harness that energy) is a time when you get to define what matters most to you.
Even if you are trying to achieve something where you do need to take others' opinions or needs into account, that doesn't mean your own preferences, priorities and style can't be part of the equation. On the contrary, they are essential to your own vision of success. And if you're not happy with the results, the approval of others isn't likely to make enough of a difference to change how you feel about it.
Mercury happens to be the only planet in an Air sign in the Eclipse chart, so how you think about and view whatever you're involved in will be coloured by this square to Pluto. So don't let the tyranny of external standards dictate how you think about things and what is important to you. Those standards can be useful as guidelines to show what criteria need to be met in order to achieve external success, but that shouldn't be the only thing you judge your actions by.
People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear,
non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
~ Steven Moffat
Mercury is also sextile Venus (60°). This is a snapshot of a long-term and intriguing dance between these two planets. On the day after the eclipse they come to within a mere 0:13 (13 minutes of arc) of perfecting the sextile (i.e. becoming exact), but it is not to be...yet.
Mercury is slowing down for the retrograde and Venus is speeding up after her recent retrograde period, so they just miss each other. Mercury backs off and doesn't catch up again to the sextile until Dec.26, but even then they only they come within 1:38 of being exact. This is because Mercury is slowing down for yet another retrograde and misses Venus again. He backs up and comes to within a 3:59 orb of conjunction with Venus on Feb.13.2016 before he builds up enough speed to pull away from her again. Mercury doesn't encounter Venus in a major aspect again until a finally-perfected conjunction on May.13.2016 when they cross paths with Mercury in retrograde motion. After Mercury turns direct, he catches up to Venus again, this time with both of them in direct motion, as they conjoin on Jul.16.2016.
This little game of Telephone Tag, where they keep missing each other, is in fact pretty typical for the combined Mercury-Venus cycle patterns. They flirt with each other, then pull away, then come together again, usually a few times before making an exact major aspect (conjunction or sextile).
Right now at the Solar Eclipse, they are a mere 0:20 from an exact sextile. They can feel the warmth of each other's hands as they reach out to each other, but don't actually connect. It brings a sense of pleasurable promise to the eclipse energy, although it might take longer than you expect for it to actually manifest (most likely next July).
That might sound like a long time, but again, solar eclipse energy often manifests in stages. With this eclipse ruled by Mercury, these stages may well follow the Mercury Retrograde and Mercury-Venus patterns, so watch for turning points and developmental progress over the next few weeks (during this upcoming retrograde), as well as this December, and February, May and July of next year.
Specifically, these times of progress and adjustment could revolve around people you connect with who may help or hinder your progress. Additionally, it could involve the finances and resources you require to move forward or to go back and make changes. This may also be a reminder that what's important is not just what you're trying to achieve but how you're doing it. In other words, check that your methods, policies and priorities are in sync with your values.
And finally, if you're not enjoying the journey or if you don't stand to get something pleasurable out of the destination, then you're doing it wrong! This is a good time to see if you need to revise your plan so that it's not all work and no play. Have fun! Be creative! This may or may not be part of the end goal, but it can make a big difference in your experience of the project and how much you will feel fulfilled having accomplished it.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea
Allow some spontaneity in what you're doing! Uranus is in a tight quincunx aspect (150°) to the Sun and Moon. Mercury is also opposite Uranus, bringing together yet another instance of the Cardinal Cross (which has been forming in many ways with the Uranus-Pluto square since 2010). Mercury stations a few degrees shy of being exactly opposite Uranus, and finally catches up to form the exact aspect on Oct.25.
The effect of these two contacts with Uranus likely means unexpected distractions or disruptions at annoying times that interfere with the rhythm and continuation of your efforts. This is underscored by Mercury about to go retrograde, when that kind of energy tends to run rampant at the best of times!
It may help to treat these interruptions as the Universe's way of saying "time to take a break!" or "time to change the steps of the dance!" Yes, it could be frustrating, even a bit exhausting as you try to keep up your steps with a changing dance floor. So, be sure to factor in times when you can just rest and relax or do something different that will rejuvenate you.
Prioritize what's truly important and what can wait, and use this to insert your own needs into the chaos when you can. Even if it's only taking 5 minutes to sit quietly and just breathe, it's these little moments that can help to keep your sanity intact and your energy balanced.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
~ Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
What is the difference between your subjective experience of something and your objective ability to conceptualize and articulate it? Each side of this duality doesn't necessarily make an easy or meaningful connection to the other. This transit challenges you to explore what makes these experiences similar and different, and how you can integrate them in a way that will be enlightening and fulfilling.
Jupiter and Neptune are both rulers of Pisces. While Neptune is often considered the modern ruler, Jupiter was the traditional ruling planet before we discovered Neptune. With the two rulers in opposition, it puts Pisces energy somewhat at odds with itself.
Jupiter's primary nature is expansion – broadening your horizons through travel, increasing your knowledge through higher education, expanding your spiritual integrity through morality and principles, expanding your body mass with your favorite foods, etc. Jupiter can give confidence and pride, as well as the ability to project an image of yourself that may or may not reflect who you really are on the inside. Jupiter signifies our quest for wisdom and a greater understanding of the world and our purpose within it. As such, it shows our ability to piece together the Big Picture of that world and distill meaning from our experiences.
On the other hand, Neptune's primary nature is to dissolve. It could evaporate your resistance to something that is in your best interest but unknown, as well as things that your better judgment says are not wise. Neptune can melt away the defences that keep you from being open to love, beauty and spirituality—a sense of being part of something greater than yourself.
At its most extreme, Neptune is about innocent surrender, which can be a blessing or dangerous. It can indicate a quality of taking things too much at face value, so you can be susceptible to being deceived by others or to deceiving others, either deliberately or through blind faith in something that consists more of wishful thinking than substance. Projection is a very Neptunian phenomenon, meaning your view of others is filtered through your own hopes or fears, or you may be viewed by others in the same way.
These two planets are currently in opposition (180°), which pulls these two forces in significantly different directions. For example, you might see something clearly but feel misunderstood or disbelieved. This may lead you to amplify (what you believe is) the truth, which could then result in coming on a bit too strong and provoking even more denial or resistance in others.
Another example: you may want to describe some kind of knowledge, wisdom or truth, but then realize that it simply can't be articulated well in words—it loses something essential in the translation into words. This could leave you feeling as if your efforts are pointless or foolish—they're not, though. You could just need to try a different way to convey it. Alternatively, you might have to accept that some things simply must be experienced to be understood, in which case your efforts to articulate it could still sensitize the person to becoming more aware of something that they start noticing more.
Aim to expand your understanding and capture that which is elusive. Or meditate in stillness and allow your awareness to be infused with greater understanding. Be very cautious about assuming that what you perceive can be taken at face value. Best to be gentle with yourself but also awake, aware and alert. This transit may also have connections to the time when the conjunction took place in 2009. Think back to that time: what have you explored along these themes since then?
There is only one exact pass of this transit (today), although when Jupiter comes back and stations Direct in May 2016, they will be within 1:30 of opposition again, so you will likely feel this energy then too.
Jupiter is opposite Neptune: 1901, 1914, 1926-27, 1939, 1952, 1964-65, 1977, 1989-90, 2002-03, 2015, 2028, 2041, 2054.
Dates for the current Jupiter-Neptune cycle:
Yes, it's that time again! Mercury goes retrograde for the next 3+ weeks. For up to a week before and after today, Mercury is moving very slowly or stopped (hence "stationary" or "making a station"). During this time, you may experience intensity, frustration, confusion, miscommunications, or feel like you're getting bogging down in your progress.
Mercury retrograde is usually a time when it is a good time to rethink, rehash, reflect, and tie up old loose ends, rather than begin new ventures. It is typical for new insights and information to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate, which can change the whole picture. Because of this, it is usually advised to avoid making final or permanent decisions (e.g., signing contracts or putting new projects into action), during the retrograde and even up to 2 weeks after Mercury goes direct. However, it is an excellent time to do fact-finding, research and investigation to prepare for major decisions, which are usually best put off until well after Mercury goes direct.
In the meantime, while Mercury is retrograde, expect the unexpected, and leave lots of extra time when planning your schedule (to minimize any disruptions from delays and complications). Stay flexible and learn to roll with the weirdness. It's common to have to reschedule appointments or redo things because the instructions or information got messed up the first time. Do some things that use your intuitive, creative, non-rational mind for a while until Mercury goes direct again.
If you absolutely must do something important during this time that can't be postponed, don't be surprised if you wind up having to redo things. It can help to be especially vigilant about triple-checking what you do, but some of these mishaps can't always be predicted or prevented, so don't be hard on yourself (nor on others).
Remember: Mercury loves to play practical jokes. This is his playtime. ;-) It helps to learn to laugh with him.
Here are the key dates of the current Mercury cycle (using North American Eastern Time):
Mercury makes aspects to 3 planets/points during this retrograde cycle:
When Saturn is in Sagittarius it is time to take your ideals, aspirations and visions of what is possible, and make a plan to manifest them in some way. It may also be necessary to choose just one or two of the many possibilities and opportunities in front of you to focus on, so that by concentrating your efforts you increase your chance of success. This can be a powerful placement for Saturn, since it combines the practicality and structured approach of Saturn with the visionary nature of Sagittarius.
However, it can also be a frustrating one, since you can't just drift along entertaining thoughts of "what if..." dreams – you need to make a choice, make a decision, take action and make it happen. It could also be a time when you need to prune back your speculations and vision of endless possibilities to a more realistic level. As a result, it might feel sometimes like your dreams, hopes and opportunities have dropped to the ground with a thud. If so, it would help to try to understand how your dashed hopes might have been a bit too big to fit into a reachable goal. Try aiming for a shorter-term goal or divide the bigger goal up into smaller steps. It's also possible you might succeed better if you reconsider your goal – there could be a different direction or method that could still give you the satisfaction, benefits or recognition you want.
Saturn is in Sagittarius during: 1926-1929, 1956-1959 and 1985-1988, 2014-2017 and 2044-2047.
Spontaneity and liberation burst into your relationships, finances, resources and pleasures. You might feel compelled to try something completely different that shakes up the "same-old-same-old" routines you're used to. The upside is that you have the opportunity to break free of some old habits and breathe some fresh air into your life. But the downside could come in the form of impulse spending beyond your budget, or recklessness in your interactions and relationships. Strive to break free of what holds you back from being your true self, without destroying the structure of order in your life.
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Sep.23, 2015, 4:20 AM EDT
Sep.22, 2015, 10:20 PM HAST
Sep.23, 2015, 9:20 AM BST
Sep.23, 2015, 6:20 PM AEST
Happy Solar Return to all Libras! While the Sun is in Libra, it brings experiences into our lives that focus us in the areas of love, close relationships, one-on-one interaction, diplomacy, negotiation, strategy, fairness, equilibrium, balance, harmony and beauty. This time also marks the point of equal balance between day and night – the Autumnal Equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, the nights now become longer than the days, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the days become longer than the nights, until the December Solstice. Balance is the key concept here! What is out of balance in your life? How can you negotiate or strategize to bring that area of your life back into harmony? Libra encourages you to balance your life in diplomatic, discreet, "win-win" ways. But if that's not possible, it will do it aggressively (creating conflict in order to break the stalemate of the imbalance) or manipulatively (people-pleasing to co-dependently get its way). Thus, Libra is known as both the peace-maker and the war-maker. If you find yourself instinctively trying to smooth out conflict – or instigate it! – take a step back and ask yourself if that is your best choice in the situation. Just don't get stuck in Libran indecision! Make your choice and then see if it brings what you want.
You have an opportunity now to make some progress in obtaining results in your projects, career, ambitions and creative expression. It is possible to tap into a disciplined mindset, which can be used to take some steps toward goals that you're trying to manifest. You are surrounded by potential to achieve this, although it will not simply be handed to you – you will still have to work for it. Your mind and purpose are likely to be clear and strong now, enabling you to be decisive and productive. Leadership, management and organizing abilities are potentially high right now. Asserting your authority in a situation that calls for it can be done successfully, as long as you don't let yourself become rigid or bossy. It can be a good time to learn or practice new skills, or to apply yourself to any kind of serious study. It is also a time when you could formulate some solid plans for future projects or make some progress with current undertakings. Make the most of it!
For a few days before and after this date, your sense of self and purpose are in sharper focus. You might encounter people who understand you more than usual, or you could find the courage to shine a little brighter than you normally do. However, this also brings a challenge to find and fulfil your potential within a broader context of life, friends, associates, groups and the world. It is a good time to look at your vision of the future—on a personal level but especially the wider vision you have for the world around you. What is your greatest potential over the coming year? Ten years? The New and Full Moons just before and after this transit are usually Eclipses. Check to see if those Eclipses form major aspects to your natal chart, since these will show a future direction for you over the coming months. The Sun-Node transit happening right now will help to focus those changes.
This is the retrograde pass, which means the situations happening during the first pass could repeat in some form. This might happen literally, where there is unfinished business that must be dealt with. Or the same themes might repeat in a different form, where the same dynamic emerges in another situation. Obsessive thoughts may be especially persistent now, and it will help to find a more positive focus or a creative outlet. Communication is likely to be the primary vehicle for this, possibly in terms of argument or intimidation. Your perception of the issues involved could also change dramatically now, so that you are seeing hidden elements that you missed the first time around. If this has brought a healing journey, this can be a time when you must dig deep into the toxic issues to clean out old attitudes, interactions or perceptions that need to be let go. It is important to keep looking inward to what is being triggered in yourself, so that you don't wind up getting stuck in "blame mode" or "paranoid mode." What you're seeing (in the situation, the other person or yourself) might be difficult to accept, but by keeping your eyes open you can see where it is possible to make changes.
This is the second of three passes of this transit: Sep.09, Sep.24 and Oct.22.
You are likely to have a lot of energy for working in practical ways under this transit. This can be a good time to respond to projects, challenges and obstacles with some analytical problem-solving. It may be easier now to take action in ways that are adaptable and flexible to match the situation at hand. However, it is also possible for your actions to become fragmented or bogged down in detail, so try to approach what you do with a purpose and an easily reachable goal in mind. Health issues may be a focus now, either out of necessity (health problems may flare up) or out of motivation (determination to improve your health). If you are looking for a new job, this could be a good time to get focused and go after what you want. It is also a good time to devote your energy to service of some kind. For example, you could help a friend move, or volunteer at the local food bank, or just perform some "acts of random kindness."
For about a week before and after, you may experience energy that is intense, compelling and transformative, as Pluto changes direction to its normal forward motion. If you've been going through deep, cathartic changes in your life over the last 6 months to a year, you may find that this station brings a shift in how you are able to approach and act on those changes. This might be a time when you feel the weight of power struggles or loss in your life, but it can also galvanize empowering strength in yourself that you didn't know you had. Above all, it is a time when your deepest, most authentic Self can start to emerge and be reborn anew.
The impulsive forward action of Mars meets the serious structure of Saturn. The resulting friction can often generate considerable heat in the form of frustration, argument, conflict and stress – but also productivity and results for hard work. Your efforts may seem thwarted and your actions blocked at every turn. Your sensitivity to problems with authority figures can be especially high, as well as your sensitivity to others not cooperating with your own role as an authority figure. The youthful, free spirit in you is somehow required to deal with the serious, responsible, cautious side of you, and a power struggle between the two energies can easily result. If one side wins out over the other, either depression and guilt or rebellion and obsession may result.
However, you are not without power or ability! This friction can also be put to use in very productive ways. Your energy, desire and goals can be made manifest and concrete – even if possibly forced by circumstance. Obstacles can strengthen us, if we work with them instead of just fighting against them. To minimise interpersonal problems, remember that assertiveness is important, but aggression or rigidity will usually only get the other person's back up. You may find yourself in a situation where you must defend or assert your personal boundaries. Or, you might find it difficult to comply with someone else's boundaries. If the heat from this transit starts to overwhelm you, take some time out, find a safe (perhaps creative?) outlet to vent your feelings, and then find a new way to approach the problem.
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© 2015 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Artwork: Virgo ~ Golden © Carol McCloud, Galactic Alchemy; used with permission. Image of girl's basketball team by lightpoet via CanStockPhoto.com.